How Pitso was key before 2010 WC

SA National Teams

Katlego Mphela has revealed the huge role Pitso Mosimane played for the national team during disrupted preparations for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Preparations for the World Cup had a few setbacks as head coach Carlos Alberto Parreira had to leave his post to be with his ill wife and was replaced by countryman Joel Santana just 14 months ahead of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup.

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Mphela felt the change in coaches affected the side but it was not a big deal as Mosimane took it upon on himself to make sure the players were focused on the job.

"It did affect us as players, you know every coach comes with his plans, but as players we had to focus," the former Bafana Bafana striker tells KickOff.com.

"Coach Pitso played a very huge role to unite the team, he was a link between the Brazilians and the players.

"As a local coach, he made it easy for us as players to have a good understanding of what was required from us, keeping the whole team together."

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The South African Football Association then parted ways with Santana after eight defeats in less than eight months in charge, before Parreira was re-appointed on an eight-month deal to prepare for the World Cup.

Unfortunately, the 1994 World Cup-winning coach couldn't do much as Bafana were knocked out in the first round, but Mphela insists the team did everything to make the country proud.

"I think we did well, because we couldn't qualify for the next round due to goal-difference, not that we didn't perform. We only lost once. We really fought as a team."

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